While Lucasfilm is slowly making its way through the Disney brand with movies, TV shows, and other merchandise, it seems that the Star Wars expansion at Disney Resorts has been put on hold for the time being. Star Wars has been slowly taking over Tomorrowland at Disney Parks, so it seemed fitting that Disney would give us an actual Star Wars Land.
According to MiceAge, it appears that the Mouse House is getting cold feet about the Star Wars expansions in their existing theme parks. Disney has put Star Wars Land on hiatus at California’s Disneyland and outright canceled the expansion at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in California. The proposed Star Wars Land and Star Wars-centric attractions were going to be put in place over the next five years, with an official opening in 2018. MiceAge writes:
Originally the plan to add Star Wars to Tomorrowland was going to be divided into two phases; a first phase involving some placemaking and a replacement for Captain EO to be finished prior to the 60th Anniversary, and a second phase kicking off in late 2015… Although Anaheim gets off a bit easier with its Star Wars plan on hold, as the plans for many of these Star Wars elements coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in WDW have just been cancelled outright.
Yikes! That seems like a big 180 from how Disney was teasing the additions to their theme parks and resorts at this year’s D23 Fan Expo in Anaheim. At the convention, large wooden crates with the label “Orange Harvest” appeared all over the Anaheim Convention Center. Blueprints for new attractions and rides could be seen inside of the crates, but Disney was rather coy about the continuing merging of Disney theme parks and Star Wars.
MiceAge goes on to explain all the attractions that would’ve been in store for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland over the next few years with “Phase Two.” Disney’s plan was to turn old and dying attractions like the Tomorrowland Terrace and Captain EO 3D experience into Star Wars-based attractions. MiceAge continues:
The second phase included the Speeder Bike E-Ticket ride, Ewok village and forest where Autopia currently is, a Millenium Falcon walk-through where the PeopleMover platform is, tearing out the decaying PeopleMover tracks and moving the Astro Orbiter up on top of the Space Mountain concourse, and turning Tomorrowland Terrace into an interactive Tatooine Cantina restaurant show. All of that is now on hold indefinitely.
Considering that Disney never officially announced Star Wars Land, these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt. Lucasfilm still has a large presence at the Magic Kingdom with the annual Star Wars Weekend events and attractions such as the Jedi Training Academy. Seeing how Disney is slowly making the transition with new Muppets attractions, Pixar rides (Disney just canceled plans for a Monsters Inc. roller coaster), and now the new Marvel attractions with the Iron Man Experience at Disneyland in Hong Kong, it appears it’s only a matter of time before Disney introduces more Star Wars-based rides at their theme parks and resorts.
Maybe Disney will reconsider once Star Wars: Episode VII grosses over $3 billion worldwide!